The hub city is moving in a more progressive direction. Lafayette City-Parish Council approved an ordinance that’s going to bring some changes to parking as we know it.
The council gave Public Works the green light to replace the old and dated coin-only parking meters with smart meters.
“I’m very happy that it passed,” said resident Michael Waldon.
Lafayette Public Works has been given the “go ahead.”
“The parking ordinance today allows us to install smart meters that will take credit cards, so that its much more convenience for people to pay using credit cards instead of having to find coins in their cars,” said Warren Abadie, City-parish Transportation Engineer.
Its just another part of what some residents believe Lafayette is quickly evolving into.
“Lafayette has a reputation for being a technologically progressive city and this will help us to keep that reputation,” said Waldon.
The ordinance also allows for the city’s Public Works Director to determine the parking rates. This means the rates could either go up or down, Abadie says that power, however, is limited.
“The ordinance as proposed has a range of rates that is available for the public works director to set within the range, so he does have to stay within the range,” he explained.
The plan will also require, paying to park, all hours of the day.
“Right now after 5 o’clock you can park for free, the long term plan is to start charging at night,” Abadie said.
One other part of the plan would allow Public Works to choose parking spots only for electric vehicle charging stations downtown. While the council had questions about this, residents we spoke to, are in total support.
“Many car companies are going to be making electric cars and we need to be ready for that,” added Waldon.
The highest a parking rate can be is 4 dollars an hour, and for 8 to 12 hours no more than 12 dollars. The rate, however, will be determined by Public works.